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Which holiday is the deadliest traffic day?
Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July ... when is it safest to be on the roads?
Every year, millions of Americans mark holiday weekends with a time-honored tradition: the road trip.
Unfortunately, since 2012, an average of 37,101 people have lost their lives on US roads each year, and that number has shot up in recent years. Coming out of the pandemic, deaths in the US jumped from 39,007 in 2020 to 42,939 in 2021 and an estimated 42,795 in 2022.
But which holiday is the deadliest traffic day?
Deadliest holidays in the US
Since 2012, Labor Day has been the worst holiday weekend for fatalities on US roads, with a total of 5,120 people losing their lives at an average of 512 per year.
Memorial Day is the second most dangerous holiday weekend, with 4,797 lives lost over the last decade (480 per year). Closely followed by Columbus Day at 4,795 (480 per year).
Since Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September, the fatality data looks at it as a four-day weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So while Labor Day may be the deadliest weekend in terms of total fatalities, it is tied with Independence Day as having the most fatalities on average, at 128 per day for each holiday weekend. Father’s Day is the third worst weekend on average, with 126 fatalities.
Drunk driving fatalities on US holidays
New Year’s Eve is the worst holiday for drunk drivers, with 47% of road fatalities involving a drunk driver. July Fourth is the second worst day for drunk drivers, with 41% of fatalities involving a drunk driver. Memorial Day is the third worst day at 37%.
New Year’s Eve is historically the worst day for the percentage of road fatalities involving drunk drivers, with four out of nine years (2012-2021) seeing drunk drivers account for over 50% of fatalities.
Where is it most dangerous to drive during the holidays?
Let’s take a look at the top five most dangerous holidays and where you’re most likely to be involved in a fatal accident.
Labor Day: Most dangerous states
With an average of 49 fatalities each year, California is the most dangerous place to drive, followed by Texas (48) and Florida (35).
Memorial Day: Most dangerous states
Texas is the most dangerous to be on the roads for Memorial Day, with an average of 52 fatalities each year, with California a ways behind at 42, followed by Florida at 39.
Columbus Day: Most dangerous states
California and Texas are equally as deadly on Columbus Day, with an average of 48 people dying each year, with Florida the third deadliest state at 37.
Thanksgiving Day: Most dangerous states
For Thanksgiving, Texas is the most dangerous place to drive, with an average of 48 fatalities each year. Next up is California at 47, followed by Florida (38).
Father’s Day: Most dangerous states
Once more, Texas is the most dangerous state, with an average of 40 people dying over Father’s Day weekend, followed by California (36) and Florida (26).
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